Good effort a silver lining for Lady Pintos in loss to Pojoaque Valley

Moriarty's Grace McCleave fighting for the ball against a pair of Pojoaque defenders.

Despite a good effort, Moriarty High School’s girls basketball team couldn’t keep up with the visiting Pojoaque Valley Elkettes during the teams’ Feb. 2 matchup.

Pojoaque Valley overpowered the Lady Pintos, 56-33.

“I was running up and down the court but they were just faster than us,” Moriarty’s Brooke Burch said after the game.

Moriarty (10-12, 1-3) jumped out to an early lead on Tristen Sauter’s 3-point basket.

But the Elkettes—a new district rival for Moriarty—responded with a 9-0 run that cemented a lead they held for the rest of the game.

“There’s a reason they’re 18-3,” Moriarty’s head coach Joe Bailey said of the Elkettes. “They’re more offensively skilled than we are.”

Kailei Edwards provided a spark with a 3-pointer late in the first quarter that pulled the Lady Pintos within 3 points.

Kailei Edwards going airborne for a jump shot.

Edwards added another 3 at the start of the second period to cut Pojoaque’s lead to 11-9.

“Before the game we talked as a team about bringing a lot of energy and trying to stay with them, so we pushed it and pushed it and I think that got our adrenaline going,” Edwards said.

But in a span of 5 minutes, the Elkettes (18-3, 3-0) used a 16-0 surge to turn a close game into a 27-9 advantage.

The Lady Pintos eliminated Pojoaque in last year’s state semifinals.

But this year, the Elkettes are one of the top Class 4A teams in the state—and sport one of the top players, Ashten Martinez.

“We didn’t have an answer for 21,” Bailey said of Martinez, who wears No. 21 and scored a game-high 17 points. “She’s a first-team all-state player.”

Moriarty’s Meredith Wilson mounted a single-handed 5-0 run with a layup and three free throws to close out the second quarter, but that only trimmed the gap to 29-14 at halftime.

Grace McCleave receiving an inbound pass from Kailei Edwards.

Pojoaque continued to pour it on in the second half, pushing its lead to as much as 26 points before Edwards sank her third trey of the game, and Wilson added a layup and a plus-1 free throw at the end of the third quarter.

Edwards led the Pintos with 10 points, Wilson added 8, and Sauter chipped in 6.

A silver lining for the Lady Pintos was their effort, which
Bailey and his players acknowledged was better in the loss to Pojoaque than it has been in some other recent games.

“I like the way that we battled the whole game,” Bailey said.

“I think as a team we played a lot better together and we had a good attitude the whole game,” Edwards said.

“It was an off night for me, my timing was off, but yeah we had good effort,” Burch said. “And we know as a team it’s closer to state and we need to step it up.”

The Lady Pintos host Los Alamos, Feb. 8.

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